The inaugural LMBC Northwest Arkansas Club Trip in April was a huge success. Despite weather reports of scattered showers all weekend, we enjoyed epic rides each day at multiple locations, including Hobbs State Park, Blowing Springs, Back 40, Little Sugar, and the classic Slaughter Pen. NW Arkansas proved to be the perfect spring riding destination because many of the trails are ridable when wet and, unlike our home trails, are not damaged due to their rocky base.
This year, most of us camped at Blowing Springs RV Park in Bella Vista, which provides easy access to the Back 40 trail system as well as the Blowing Springs trails that surround the campground. Some brought RVs, some brought tents, and there is even the option of renting ‘tiny cabins’ on site, so Blowing Springs was an excellent choice to accommodate everyone in the group. It is also very close to a wide variety of vacation rental properties and motels, including the famous Bike Inn Bentonville, for those that prefer real beds and bathrooms.
On Friday, the weather was good as expected, and after setting up camp, most of the group explored the trails around Blowing Springs. Some of the crew that arrived the day prior was lucky enough to spend the entire day riding the Slaughterpen trails, which has expanded into a massive system featuring everything from techy hand-cut trails to sculpted jump-lines and huge pro-level features.
Saturday morning, the rain arrived and was heavy enough that we decided to spend the morning at the world famous Crystal Bridges Art Museum and wait for the rain to lighten up. That afternoon after some delicious lunch in downtown Bentonville, our patience was rewarded with epic rides at Little Sugar and Hobbs State Park. We broke into a few different groups, but the rides ranged from 15-25 miles with approximately 2,000-3,000 feet of vertical and featured gorgeous views of Beaver Lake and some of the best trail riding in the state!
After some long hours in the saddle on Saturday, we were ready for our recovery potluck dinner around the campfire. Dinner featured burgers and brats, a veggie hash on the cast iron, a variety of side dishes, and even a homemade carrot cake! Finally, after some well-deserved rest, we enjoyed a solid ride on the Back 40 trails on Sunday morning before heading back home. Back 40 has some of the most classic original trails in NW Arkansas and ventures deep in the backcountry, so it was a perfect end to a weekend of epic riding.
All in all, it was a great weekend, and we want to thank everyone who came down and shared it with us. We plan on doing it bigger and better next year, so stay tuned for more information!
Story By Matt Paschang
Photos by Samantha Jones